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Suspects arrested for armed robberies in Rapid City
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Suspects arrested for armed robberies in Rapid City

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A traffic stop helped lead police officers to suspects in last week's armed robberies of a Rapid City hotel and convenience store as well as an earlier casino theft, according to a news release from the police department. 

Johnathan Adkins, a 20-year-old from Rapid City, is accused of using a gun to rob the Quality Inn and Suites on North Lacrosse Street and the Big D convenience store on Main Street on Jan. 22. He's also accused of stealing cash from the Jackpot Casino Too on North Lacrosse Street on Jan. 18. 

Troy Young Fairbanks, a 27-year-old from Rapid City, is accused of acting as a lookout in the hotel robbery and taking a more active role in the convenience store robbery. 

Fairbanks is scheduled to be sentenced Feb. 24 in federal court after recently pleading guilty to violating the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act for his role in his family's eagle trafficking business.

Officers came across Adkins at a Jan. 23 traffic stop when a driver failed to come to a complete stop before exiting a parking lot on North Lacrosse Street around 10:15 p.m., according to the news release.

Police learned the driver had warrants but a passenger refused to identify himself. The driver let officers search his car. They found an empty holster for a hand gun. The unidentified man took off running after officers asked to pat down the group to search for the gun. Officers got the man on the ground and were able to handcuff him after he reportedly kicked them. 

Officers found a loaded handgun inside the man's coat pocket, identified him as Adkins and realized he matched the description for the suspect in the Jan. 22 robberies, the release says. They arrested him on two charges of simple assault against law enforcement, commission of a felony with a firearm, obstruction and drug possession. He also had warrants related to drugs, guns, grand theft and other alleged crimes, according to the jail website. The driver was arrested for traffic violations and drug charges after police found baggies and paraphernalia that field-tested positive for meth, the release says. 

Adkins agreed to be interviewed by police who charged him with two counts of first-degree robbery and petty theft after determining he was the man with the gun in the Jan. 22 robberies and the person who stole money in the Jan. 18 casino theft, the release says. 

Police arrested Fairbanks on Jan. 25 after learning he was the second suspect in the robberies and charged him with first-degree robbery in the convenience store incident and aiding and abetting the same crime in the hotel incident. 

The casino theft was reported around 9:15 a.m. on Jan. 18, according to a previous news release. The suspect, described as a skinny white man between the ages of 20 and 25, asked an employee about some items he may have left at the casino and while the worker was distracted, the man went behind the counter and stole money from the cash drawer.

The hotel was robbed around 9:05 p.m on Jan. 22, according to a previous news release. Witnesses said a man entered the lobby, walked behind the front desk and grabbed a bank bag from a shelf. The man then walked into a nearby office and displayed a gun in front of an employee before fleeing. Security footage shows the suspect leaving in a tan sedan with a spoiler on the trunk.

Police said they were looking to contact a person of interest seen in surveillance footage who appeared to be a skinny white man wearing a light-colored hoodie and black fabric around his neck.

Officers were dispatched to a second robbery at the convenience store about 9:40 p.m. An employee told officers that two men wearing masks and hooded sweatshirts entered the store. One then displayed a gun and demanded money from the cash register. The clerk complied, and the men ran to a vehicle that looked similar to the one used in the first robbery. 

— Contact Arielle Zionts at arielle.zionts@rapidcityjournal.com

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